Suspect pleads in 2016 off-campus stabbing

The suspect in a 2016 off-campus stabbing of two UVa-Wise students was found guilty of charges from the incident

Ricky Lin Hamilton, 56 of Wise, was convicted of two counts of malicious wounding March 1 in Wise County Circuit Court.

Hamilton pleaded guilty under the Alford rule without a plea agreement from prosecutors.  Under an Alford plea, Hamilton, while not pleading guilty to the charges, acknowledges the prosecution’s evidence would probably result in a conviction

This means the judge will determine Hamilton’s sentence based on testimony of witnesses for the prosecutors and the defendant at a hearing.

The incident happened at an apartment complex in the 600 block of Hurricane Road.  Hamilton confronted two college students at their apartment complex about someone driving across his yard. At some point, Hamilton drew a knife and cut the two students.

“Crimes of violence, like those in this case, are rare in our community,” Wise County Commonwealth’s Attorney Chuck Slemp said about the case. “We are pleased with these convictions and thankful that the injuries sustained by the victims were not life threatening.  This was a close call and could have resulted in the death of innocent young people.

“As such, we hope that the court will fashion an appropriate sentence given the severity of the incident,” Slemp said.

Sentencing is scheduled for May 31 at 9 a.m. in Circuit Court.  Hamilton faces up to 40 years in jail.

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